Maybe you don't need the inline-six after all.
Even in its lesser sDrive30i trim, the 2019 BMW Z4 is a highly enjoyable sports car. For those who don't need the added power of the M40i, which starts at just under $65,000, the sDrive30i comes in at a more affordable price of just under $50,000. There are, however, some sacrifices which need to be made when stepping down to the four-cylinder Z4 model. Power drops from 382 horsepower (which is actually underrated) to 255 hp and torque drops from 369 lb-ft to 295 lb-ft.
With less power comes more modest acceleration (5.2 seconds compared to just 3.9 seconds in the M40i). But tuners have already proven the M40i can easily gain power via the aftermarket and the sDrive30i is no different.
A tuning company called DTE Systems has released a simple plug-and-play chip tune to boost power in the four-cylinder Z4. DTE's PowerControl chip will bring the output of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder up by 24 hp and 49 lb-ft of torque for a total of 279 hp and 340 lb-ft of torque. The cost is only $869 for the PowerControl chip and with it, the Z4's 0-60 mph time will drop below the five-second mark.
For $949, DTE also offers a PowerControl X chip which in addition to improving performance, also improves fuel economy by 15%. Spending the extra $80 could be worth it in the long run for the additional fuel savings.
Opting for Power Control X also includes smartphone compatibility with instrument panels, drive modes (including the additional efficiency mode), and a configurable warmup timer. The four-cylinder Z4 still may not be as powerful as the six-cylinder model but for around $15,000 less, this new plug-and-play tune might make it quick enough for some people to forgo buying the faster model. If just a simple tune can get the four-cylinder Z4 to 60 mph in under five seconds, just imagine how quick it will be with even more upgrades.